Embattled Missouri Rep. Sarah Unsicker jumps into race for governor
The Shrewsbury lawmaker recently bowed out of the Missouri attorney general’s race. Unsicker was stripped of her committee assignments and later kicked out of the House Democratic caucus because of her social media posts and association with an accused Holocaust denier.
Missouri state Rep. Sarah Unsicker, who was removed from her committee assignments and expelled from the House Democratic caucus because of social media posts and her association with an accused Holocaust denier, announced Monday evening that she’s running for governor.
“I am running for Governor of Missouri because we must have justice. We must have security in our elections. We must have children who can grow up safe, healthy, and happy,” Unsicker said in a statement posted on her website that noted she was making the announcement while on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
“At this moment, Missouri’s democracy has lost its way. That is why I am here today, announcing my campaign for governor. Because America has to put the Heart back in the Heartland and take the Misery out of Missouri,” Unsicker wrote. “American democracy must not perish from the earth. We have a sacred duty to win on this battlefield. And we shall prevail.”
Unsicker is an attorney who has served in the Missouri House since 2017 and was, until recently, the ranking Democratic member of a committee overseeing the state’s Children’s Division. She had announced in October that she was running as a Democrat for attorney general but caused a firestorm over her social media activity and for, among other things, her association with conspiracy theorist Eric Garland and Charles Johnson. Garland is listed as Unsicker’s gubernatorial campaign manager.
The Anti-Defamation League includes Johnson on its list of Holocaust deniers, citing comments he made in 2017 on Reddit in which he doubted the number of Jews killed and whether the Auschwitz concentration camp is real. He told Politico in 2018 that he is not a Holocaust denier.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, who is running for governor, booted Unsicker off House committees. Quade said at the time that Unsicker used social media to promote individuals “who espouse baseless conspiracies and racist and anti-Semitic ideologies that are antithetical to the values of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect House Democrats are dedicated to upholding.”
Unsicker dropped out of the attorney general’s race, then forwarded a complaint to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft saying that her former opponent, Elad Gross, and his family “had failed to register as foreign agents for Israel.” Gross denied Unsicker’s accusations, and Ashcroft said his office had “not been provided any evidence that even remotely relates to Missouri election interference.”
Missouri Democrats then kicked Unsicker out of their caucus, with House leaders saying in a statement that she “is free to choose her associations, but the caucus enjoys that same freedom.”
In her statement announcing her gubernatorial run, Unsicker said “keeping our house in order by protecting our democracy is a sacred obligation — and I have been punished by my own party for pointing out the cracks in that foundation.”
A spokesman for Quade’s gubernatorial campaign declined comment Monday night. Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mike Hamra’s campaign did not immediately provide a comment.
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